8 Must Watch Anime for Spring 09

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on May 7th, 2009

Following through my post on the most promising spring series this year, it’s time to re-evaluate that list. It’s already about a month into the season so I’ve managed to catch all the series I wanted to.

Some were not as good as I originally thought, while some proved to get better as the episodes roll out.

Here are the best 8 this season in no particular order…

Hayate Rocking The Bridge

Hayate no Gotoku (Season 2)

Season 2 is beginning to look a lot better than the first and that’s really saying something since the first season is regarded as one of the best anime in the past couple of years. And the OAV suddenly made more sense after watching the first few episodes of the second season.

The debt-ridden butler continues to attract more new suitors while getting into even more trouble. Even Maria was tempted to give him some Valentines chocolate, which ended in some unexpected and really brutal chocolate destruction from the usually kind and gentle Maria.

Hayate Seifuku

Miko Hayate

And Hayate in female a girl’s seifuku and miko costume = priceless and always more than welcomed! (crap, did I say that out loud?)

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Higashi no Eden

Eden of the East

Excellent in almost every angle – story telling, character design, animation, pacing, you name it, although I don’t really find the soundtrack to be that good. And for once they actually had proper seiyuus who could speak English to actually speak it! *gasp*

Higashi no Eden

The first episode took off interestingly with Morita Akira running around naked and flashing his “Johnny” everywhere. He is certainly the most enigmatic character to show up in an anime for quite some time. The more we find out about Akira, the more mysterious he becomes.

Why did he chose to wipe out his own memory?

Why was he standing naked with a gun in front of the White House?

What are the Selecao and who is the Supporter?

The more answers Akira finds, the more questions he starts to have. So many questions and the episodes aren’t coming out fast enough. Eden of the East will easily be one of the best shows this year if it keeps up the momentum.

 Higashi no Eden

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Cross Game

Cross Game

Besides Eden of the East, Cross Game is one of the most well crafted show this season. The first episode captivating to say the least, at the same time it was quite cruel. I say cruel, because I really thought the story was cruel. Not cruel in an evil, bloodstained kind of way but on an emotional level.

 Cross Game

A nice build up between the relation of the main character and his love interest that was suddenly and unexpectedly pulled to a halt.

You seldom feel sad when a character dies off in the first episode. There’s just too little time to build up a strong enough emotion to actually do that. Cross Game did more than that with actually leaving a hole in your heart and the feeling that something really important has suddenly gone missing.

I call that top-notched story telling.

Cross Game

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Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles

I really was planning to buy the game only after I’ve finished playing a few other games, but after watching the anime, I decided to buy it now rather than later.The animation style still takes a bit to get used to, but there’s a certain elegance in it. From screenshots of the game, it looks like the style is actually taken from the game itself.

Welkin Gunther - Valkyria Chronicles

Welkin is still very much a mystery and no one can really tell what he’s really thinking. He looks naive at first glance and while he does act weird, he’s always able to think about things calmly and logically when it counts – even though some of his thoughts and actions are based on whims. But that’s what makes him such an interesting character.

There are few game-based anime that are good or memorable, and even though it might be too early to say this,Valkyria Chronicles looks set to be one of the best adaptations in recent years.

Alicia - Valkyria Chronicles

“I am Kana. Fear me!”

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07-Ghost Teito Klein


The first thing that caught my eye in 07-Ghost is how well the character designs were.

It’s really interesting how the story started off with Teito being in a military academy where students are able to use some sort of ability that manifests some sort of runic words and use it as a weapon against enemies.


But the setting quickly changed and Teito found himself in the care of a church said to be protected by the 7 ghosts. What exactly are the 7 ghosts are still kept hidden but I can only guess that the 3 bishops are very closely related to them. They might even be the ghosts themselves in human form.

07-Ghost keeps coming up with new questions as well but it seems that everyone involved in it knows whats going on except Teito.

The only thing I really hate about 07-Ghost is Ayanami. He’s most likely to be the final villain, so I’m just counting the episodes until Teito totally tears him apart for all that he’s done.


What a scary place, it even managed to turn the no-nonsense Teito into comic relief…

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Non-mahjong fan who skipped this should give this a try. It’s a fun series thats really entertaining even if you don’t really understand everything that’s happening on the mahjong table.Trust me on this, I play mahjong a little myself and I can barely understand the wa they play. My only conclusion is that Japanese mahjong uses a very different scoring system compared to the rest of the world. Even so, it’s still fun to watch.


The anime is beginning to take a slightly different path than the first volume of the manga I’ve read, but that might not be a bad thing. That’s not really a bad thing, considering the anime appears to be trying to get the series to move forward faster to the good part – the mahjong tournament.

Give this a try, and you might just be tempted to start playing mahjong yourself. Or you might just want to watch it for this:



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Mio Moe Moe Kyun~


One word: Mio.She has swept the guys off their feet and instantly became the new darling of otaku-dom. She is Tsukasa with a brain and will be one of the toughest competitor in the upcoming Saimoe.

K-ON has a cast of likable characters, there’s the rich and well mannered Mugi (who apparently has a thing for yuri), the energetic little devil Ritsu, the complete airhead Yui and the moe moe kyun~ Mio.

K-ON is without a doubt a great show, but I have a feeling that its popularity shot up mostly thanks to Mio. That’s not a bad thing really, since it just gives more exposure to the series.


I really was expecting a lot more from K-ON in terms of the animation quality especially since KyoAni is behind it. It’s still good, but nowhere near the level of Lucky Star or Clannad.


If anyone dies of moe overload this season, the culprit will be Mio.

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Pandora Hearts: B-Rabbit

Scythes must be the “in” thing this season.

Pandora Hearts

First episode was so-so, but had that certain attraction to it. True enough, each episode just gets better and better.I was afraid that the whole series might take place in the crappy abyss, simply because it would get boring real fast. But Oz managed to escape to the real world with the help of Alice.

Pandora Hearts

From Gil’s actions, I can guess that one of the Death Gods could be Oz’s father. I might pick up the manga once the anime is over if I can find it. Right now, I’m happy enough to watch the anime.

It’s just sad that the quality for Pandora Hearts is so poor…

Alice, Pandora Hearts

I think I’m in love with Alice…

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Best 8: Spring 2009 Current Favourites

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on April 10th, 2009

A new season has arrived. As usual there are a lot of shows and even more bad ones. There are still a few shows I’m trying to catch like Hatsukoi Limited, 07 Ghost and Eden of the East. But the season is starting out better than I thought, and here are 8 shows that are standing out so far.

Kugimiya Rie is busy again as usual this season with 3 very different roles:  the rich loli Nagi, the living armor Al and the mahjong player equipped with a fang, Yuuki.

Hayate the Combat Butler (2nd season)

Hayate the Combat Butler season 2

Still as brilliant as ever, although I do wonder about some of the color changes. But it doesn’t really bother me that much since the main cast were not touched. Gotta love the summary of the first season at the start – short and sweet. Was disappointed that the OP wasn’t done by Kotoko :(

Unless I’ve been dreaming during season 1 (or I just totally forgot about it), there appeared to be a short skip in the story involving Nagi and Ayumu’s younger brother. Guess that means I’ll have to read the manga to find out what really happene.

Maria & Saki - Maid Max Heart!

And Maid Max Hearts FTW!

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Unlike most who thinks FMA is one of the best anime/manga around, I didn’t think it was that good. Don’t get me wrong, FMA is good, but to me it wasn’t up to the level many others hailed it as.

One of the things I liked about FMA was the great supporter of mini skirts for uniform Roy Mustang. Having the surprisingly perverted colonel come out as if he could shout “nerai wa utsu!” at anytime dampens that. It will take some time to adjust to the new Lockon Colonel Mustang.

But as long as it’s not going down the exact same route the original series did, FMA Brotherhood will be an interesting watch. I don’t really like waiting week after week to watch a “rerun” when we can just rewatch the original series from start to finish in a couple of days.

Major Alex Louis Armstrong

Salutes to Kenji Utsumi for still being able to pull off an awesome Major Armstrong at nearly the age of 72, one of the oldest seiyuus around today.

Apparently, FMA Brotherhood will be showing on Animax Asia very soon as well.



It’s like a dream come true. I had really enjoyed xxxHolic’s mahjong episode and it was then I found out about Saki. However, the manga was difficult to find and I only managed to get a few chapters of it, which discouraged me from reading. So when Saki was announced to make its debut as an anime this season, it easily became one of the series I looked forward to most.

And I love it! I play mahjong for fun every now and then with a few friends, and it’s always a barrel of laughter. The kind of things you do just to screw up a single opponent even if it meant losing the round, it’s all good fun – if you consider this twisted kind of fun as good like me.

Unless Gonzo somehow screws this up really bad, I will enjoy this very much.



The first 10 minutes or so was kinda boring – my first impressions of Konata’s chocolate cornet was loads more entertaining. The real fun only began after Yui stepped into the club room.

Maybe my expectations were too high after reading and hearing good things about K-ON, but I was slightly disappointed after watching it. Animation is pretty fluid as expected from KyoAni, but I’m sure they could have done a lot better especially the colours.

Slap Up Party -Arad Senki-

Slap Up Party - Arad Senki -

I like spirit Roxy. She’s just so cute and adorable, a lot different compared to when she was a demon knight. It looks interesting enough, but at the same time it feels like a ticking timebomb waiting to blow up and go very wrong.

Pandora Hearts

Pandora Hearts

I’m curious about this series. Like how Pandora was curious enough to ignore Zeus’s warning and opened the jar to unleash evil and misery to the world, I find myself attracted to what evil and misery Pandora Hearts will unleash.

Asura Cryin’

Asura Cryin'

If the first episode is anything to go by, the original summary that this series is about a boy and a ghost girl doesn’t do any justice to it. Secret societies, religious wars, scientific experiments, a mecha hidden in wormhole stuffed inside a small metal casing -Asura Cryin’ might actually end up as one of the best this season.

Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles

I haven’t played the game (yet) but something tells me I’ll be playing it sooner than I thought. The animation style kinda resembles a painting, especially the shading. You can easily tell it looks different from other shows but personally I think it looks pretty good. One of the most impressive looking series that came this season with a cast of likable characters. I think I have the hots for Alicia already <3

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Best Anime of 2008

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on December 31st, 2008

Maybe it’s because I didn’t watch as many anime as I did last year due to work, but it seems like the overall quality of anime released this year wasn’t as high as last year. That doesn’t mean that the series that came out this year are bad. It’s just I find that there were a lot more choices I had to really evaluate to stick into the top 10 last year than this year.

But all in all it’s still a good year, especially for sequels and most importantly, the starting point where studios and anime companies finally begins to see the bigger picture and began to stream anime online for free or a small fee.

As usual, this list is based on what I’ve watched this year (that was released this year) and since I did not get pass episode 4 of Macross Frontier, it will not be on the list no matter how good you say it is. Shana Second would have made the list too if it didn’t suck so bad for the first 3 quarters of the season.

Side note: Kugimiya Rie the tsundere queen has been hard at work this year…

Slayers Revolution - Lina Inverse

#10 Slayers Revolution

Megumi Hayashibara returns along with the others to voice Lina Inverse and gang in Slayers Revolution. They managed to keep true to the series, although they could have really done more to keep the plot interesting. But since this is basically just the first half, there’s still a chance for Slayers to bounce back in Evolution-R.

Overall the series was just as I remembered, although a bit disappointing at the same time due to the lack of interesting developments.

Shugo Chara Doki!

#9 Shugo Chara / Shugo Chara Doki

Admittedly there are a lot of boring parts, especially at the beginning of Doki, but it’s been going uphill ever since Nadeshiko Nagihiko returned. Come to think of it, the series began to feel boring ever since Nadeshiko left. It was probably “her” presence that gave life to Shugo Chara in the first place since Tadase and Yaya is pretty much hopeless.

Nadeshiko was the one initially pushing the plot forward and is now pretty much doing the same thing again. Just gotta love the rivalry between him and Rima-tan. And Kairi suks.

To Aru Majutsu no Index

#8 To Aru Majutsu no Index

This would be so much better if it was moving at a faster pace. The alternating episodes of action and story development leading towards the next action episode feels so painfully slow. But otherwise it’s a pretty good series, although Touma really needs to do learn some new tricks other than rushing into things and depending on his Imagine Breaker which seems to be getting more and more useless with the newer enemies.

To Aru Majutsu no Index does show a lot of promise to be great despite its terrible pacing. It feels like a darker version of Law of Ueki, but at the same time it’s also something that has never been done before from what I know. Magic and science put together has always been an interesting formula especially if done right, and this show is heading down the right way.

Hayate no Gotoku

#7 Hayate no Gotoku

I still don’t know why Hayate is the combat butler, especially since he rarely do any actual combat. It’s more like a all-in-one butler who does anything and everything (wait… that’s what a butler does, isn’t it?). It’s more appropriate to call Hayate the poor and bad luck butler.

Hayate makes use of plenty of cliches, puns and parodies but at the same time maintain a fine balance of original story and insanity that doesn’t make the series feel like its pushing it too much.

Lucky Star OAV

#6 Lucky Star OAV

You wa Shock!

We need more Lucky Star! We need more Lucky Channel Live! More More More!!!

It’s Lucky Star, ‘nuf said.

the Tower of Druaga - the Aegis of URUK

#5 Tower of Druaga – the Aegis of URUK

The first episode wasn’t really the first episode, but more of a chaotic piece of randomness put together to attract the attention of the anime community. There was an alternate, real, first episode that appeared on NicoNico for a short while before being removed for some reason. But trust me, the one everyone is familiar with is much better.

The plot is as thick as a slice of cheese, there are no character development, and everything looks as if the director simply dreamed up of a story the night before the episode script was due. Only the last few episode had any real and actual meaning to the plot.

But the journey was a really good one. The seemingly bizarre randomness of plot and twist made the Tower of Druaga what it is that we came to love. I mean, who can forget the Roper dance!? And I can’t wait for the Sword of URUK to start showing in about a week’s time.

Initially I was skeptical of what Gonzo would release to the world as one of two of the first ever anime being streamed online for free right after the episode is released in Japan. Thankfully, the Tower of Druaga proved to be a good show, although I can’t say the same for the rest of Gonzo’s releases since then.

Zero no Tsukaima: Princesses no Rondo

#4 Zero no Tsukaima: Princesses no Rondo

I missed Zero no Tsukaima last year and did a marathon of the first 2 season before starting to watch Princesses no Rondo. The relationship between Saito and Louise reminds me so much of Yuji and Shana but maybe that’s because they are voiced by the same pair of seiyuus. But unlike Yuji x Shana, Saito and Louis is less annoying but more entertaining.

Zero no Tsukaima never fails to crack a laughter whenever some scared super weapon turns out to be something from “our” world such as a bazooka or an antique fighter jet.

One thing that had struck me as odd since the start is how Saito so easily adapted to his life with Louise and never really misses home as much as he would like to make others believe.

ZnT is also one of the rare few series that continues to be good season after season.

Clannad After Story

#3 Clannad & Clannad ~ After Story ~

Clannad is without a doubt one of the top series last year and it is still tops this year. The last few episodes was very well done and it just loves to twist your emotions at will. It was unfortunate that Kyou didn’t get her own arc since Tomoyo even had her own special alternate ending.

While After Story was not as good as the first season, After Story acts more like an epilogue than an actual sequel season. The focus of the story for the most parts shifts away from the main girls in Clannad. Artwork and animation is still tops, as expected of anything KyoAni.

However, this is probably something only fans of the original season would enjoy. Like me 😀

Gundam 00 Season 2 - 00 Raiser

#2 Gundam 00

I was very skeptical of Gundam 00 when it first aired. It was like an updated version of Gundam Wing and for most of the first season, g00 was just bad. But the 2nd season really picked up and it turned out to be one of the best this year – once you’re used to how Sunrise does things, of course.

Look pass how Gundam 00 is all about the mobile suits power rather than pilot skills most of the time, how a more powerful MS or upgrade appears every few episode and how new technology just appear out of thin air, and you’ve got one of the most impressive mecha anime of the year.

There are more character development so far in the second season than the entire first season combined, something I ranted about before. 00 Gundam is now the most haxed MS ever with its quantum dissolving ability, although I still think it will lose against Strike Freedom and especially Infinite Justice.

Maybe it’s just me, but g00 s2 is beginning to feel a bit like Code Geass in how the writers are trying to screw the cast one way or another.

Code Geass R2

#1 Code Geass R2

There are no good guys or bad guys, just people with big egos and personal agendas. Trust no one and be prepared to back stab anyone. Those were what made Code Geass the best of 2008.

Suzaku, an ally who turned into your worse enemy ended up being the only person you can rely on in the end. The infamous “Orange-kun” who became one of Lelouch’s greatest ally and carried on to become arguably the coolest character in entire of Code Geass.

The Order of the Black Knights, one of the most powerful and influential organization built from scratch by Zero, turned against him without batting an eyelid. Kallen, the person who no one believed would have turned against Lelouch, did just that without first seeking the proper truth.

And the ressurection of cast members who long thought dead, but as the saying goes, if there is no dead body being buried, no one really died. It’s just sad that Lelouch decided that he needed to die instead of abusing Jeremiah’s Geass-Canceller ability to re-geass the entire world to either do as he wished, or to forget the whole incident.

The final twist of Zero Requiem was totally unexpected, having Zero to finish off Lelouch himself. What surprises me is that no one wondered why unathletic Zero was suddenly able to get pass all those guards and single handedly take out Emperor Lelouch. But the biggest question still remains, is Lelouch still alive somehow in the World of C, just as his mother, Marianne, was?

Happy 2009! 😀

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Best of Anime 2007

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on December 31st, 2007

It’s the end of 2007 and it’s time to reflect back on this year’s anime. There are definitely a lot of great new anime that came out this year, and the slice-of-life comedy took many by surprise, making the top 5 or even top 3 of many fan’s list.

Here, in my final post this year, I will go through my top 10 anime of the year, the best of 2007. Everyone’s list is undoubtedly different since no one watches all the same anime and have the same tastes. There are many series which I haven’t watched yet, most notably Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which I will definitely pick up as soon as possible. So yeah, don’t expect to see them drills here.

Sunako-chan in Military Uniform

#10 – Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

This is probably one of the most overlooked anime this year and the reason is probably due to the terrible, horrible more unique character design. The storyline is quite random at times and the plot loves to exaggerate on the series theme which focuses on self-acceptance and beauty.

Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and YNSH is a lot better than anyone would think just by looking at the character design and plot summary. Although, it would take a couple of episodes to get used to the girly looking bunch of fugly guys who are supposedly the most gorgeous bunch of guys you’ll ever see. Forgive me while I puke.


#9 – Pokemon Diamond & Pearl the Movie: Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai

Hah! Bet you didn’t see this one coming 😛

I would have actually went with Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, but thought this would be more appropriate since it’s released this year. While Pokemon is rather repetitive with a very predicted plot, it does still have its charm.

There hasn’t been any decent Pokemon since the 2nd movie, but Lucario and the Mystery of Mew really impressed me a lot. And now I’m even more delighted that the latest movie was not disappointing as well.

While the movie focused on the 2 legendaries from the Diamond and Pearl games, the most intriguing Pokemon is neither the God of Time nor the God of Space, but the infamous Darkrai.

And the Batman-like ending has got to be the best ending for a Pokemon movie ever.


#8 – Clannad

Clannad started out inferior to Da Capo II for me, but it quickly overtook D.C.II which I dropped soon after. CCYoshi might really do something bad to me this time, but Fuko’s arc was really what changed everything for me and with the end of Kotomi’s arc around the corner, I finally understood what the fuss was about when every other anime fan was chanting for its arrival.

Even though I started off liking Tomoyo the best, that is quickly changing as I’m beginning to find Kyou much more attractive. Hopefully Kyou would have an arc of her own, preferably after Tomoyo’s arc. I’ll just have to wait and see.


#7 – Nana

It took me a while to get warmed up to the anime since I had watched the movie first. The starting was just too slow but the flashbacks had ended for both Nana, it really became interesting.

Good character design, great soundtrack and a very solid plot thats hard to predict, it’s no wonder that Nana became a phenomenon in Japan and many other countries. I only wish that there would be a continuation, perhaps in the form of an OAV, to complete the story and bring Nana back to everyone.

Oh, the seiyuus were great as well and this is where I first heard (and saw) Hirano Aya in action XD

Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations

#6 – Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations

Even with just a single episode so far, Production I.G. had really, really impressed me with their adaptation for Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle’s OAV. They stuck with the manga very consistently and it already started to hit it off with me the moment the conversation revealed that they had just arrived from Rekord country.

Bee Train almost never follows the manga’s plot properly, often adding plenty of fillers or even changing entire scenes altogether which was why Tsubasa Chronicle was quite disappointing on most parts. But I really do love how they brought the first episode to life, if only they had been more consistent.

A request for CLAMP: Could we have Production I.G. do the 3rd season of the anime instead of Bee Train, pretty please? Other than the slightly off colour of Sakura’s hair, it was perfect.

Amulet Heart pose~

#5 – Shugo Chara

Now I’m the one surprised to see this here. When the series just started off I had brushed it off as something that will not hold my interest for long, and even called it a crossover between Sailormoon and Care Bears. But Shugo Chara quickly did a chara-nari and stole my heart as well.

It’s too bad that Miki had only transformed once with Amu to become Amulet Spade so far. The chara-nari sequence was really odd with Miki’s blue theme, but thank goodness Amulet Spade isn’t as silly looking as Amulet Clover. I can’t believe that Amu had no comments about her dress either.

I’m pretty sure I read in a few places that Shugo Chara would be 52 episodes long, so despite my initial thoughts that it would be too long, now I only can hope that it will reach that length. We’re only barely at the surface of the seemingly deep and twisted plot.


#4 – History’s Strongest Disciple, Kenichi


From school bullies to thugs to an entire underground organisation and it’s still far from over, the basic plot reminds me of Kotaro Makaritoru. But the similarities ends there and I have found that Kenichi’s plot is ways ahead and much more enjoyable.

There’s almost never a dull moment as the series if full of funny moments and awesome fighting scenes. Starting off by stamina training and learning the basic stances for Jujutsu, Chinese kenpo, Karate, Muay-Thai kickboxing and throw in some weapons training along the way and you can really follow along Kenichi’s growth up to the point where he finally learned the Seikuuken from the Elder.

Kenichi is one of the few series this year that had grabbed me from the very beginning and had me wanting for more even after it had ended. I know that the manga is already pretty far ahead with better story arcs, so there might be a good chance of a sequel.

Suzumiya Konata

#3 – Lucky Star

Admittedly, the above screenshot was what got me into watching Lucky Star and I absolutely did not regret it. This is one show that most anime fans would enjoy and all the “food talk” has already been discussed to death many times over so I will not go anywhere near that chocolate cornet.

It’s really surprising how you think you caught all the jokes in any episodes of Lucky Star only to find out later that half the gags had walked pass without you realizing anything had happened at all. Even then, you probably hadn’t grasped 100% of what had been referenced.

The opening theme is the closest rival to Hare Hare Yukai to date and it’s also sang by (almost) the same group of people. Makes you wonder what’s going to come up next from them 😉

One of Lucky Star’s biggest draw is the fact that its the closest slice-of-life series that really depicts our daily life and conversation almost to the dot and puts a smile on your face the next time you find yourself in the same situation again, which really happens a lot in my case. Especially the food part. Okay, okay, no more food talk.

Zero Unmasked

#2 – Code Geass

Up until a couple of months ago, I was certain that Code Geass would become my favourite anime of the year. I consider myself somewhat fortunate for only picking up the series after the last 2 episode for the season had been aired. Otherwise, I might have gone insane waiting for it.

It started off innocently enough but would have had you hooked by the end of the first episode, all thanks to that sudden change of facial expression by Lelouch Lamperouge, or more precisely, Lelouch Vi Britannia was revealed to be his true name.

As 0rion pointed out, Code Geass is the most spectacular trainwreck you’ve ever seen. It’s one that is so well pulled off, you end up really hating what happened, but loving every moment of it. Contradicting, but very true.

With Lelouch and Suzaku finally facing off with each other, and the trigger finally pulled, it makes one wonder how the heck can Code Geass continue for another full season through that mess. Or in my case, if my heart and will is strong enough to pull me through another season without killing myself.

Chiaki-sama in tears oh my!

#1 – Chiaki-sama Minami-ke

Chiaki-sama Minami-ke is without a doubt, to me, the best anime of 2007. It’s much more hilarious than Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh put together and had me rolling all over the floor every week without fail. I have the bruise marks from hitting my bed and wall to prove it.

The gags are almost never reused, unless you count Mako-chan but even then there are always something new. Even the “Sensei! Ninomiya-kun” segments were a barrel of laughters, especially the game parodies. The runaway vehicle gag that keeps aiming for either sensei or Ninomiya-kun is probably the most repeated joke in the series but it was also pulled off beautifully and was not overused.

And all those sexually suggestive scenes. That’s fanservice at its best. Not too much, but it’s always there, trying to lure you in… Which reminds me, I’m gonna have to do a post highlighting all those scenes.

Minami-ke overtook Code Geass as my favourite anime of the year simply because I enjoyed it much more than any other anime this year. Even for my 2006 favourites I had chose to put a series which I enjoyed more, Ouran Host Club, at the top instead of the great Suzumiya Haruhi. I just hope Minami-ke Okawari doesn’t kill it when it starts showing.

With that, 2007 comes to a close, and 2008 promises even more great anime such as the long awaited continuation for both Code Geass and Suzumiya Haruhi. I just hope none of them turns out like Shana II.

Happy 2008 everyone! 😀

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Top 10 Anime of 2006

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on August 30th, 2007

I know I’m a bit late, but I’ll be taking this as a practice run for my upcoming Top 10 Anime of 2007.

There were plenty of great anime in 2006 and some I only watched early this year. I didn’t watch every single anime that were released, nor did I watch every single popular ones such as Code Geass (although I plan to start on that sometime soon), but here are my top 10 favourite anime of 2006. These are also rated based on episodes that were shown in 2006 and does not necessary represent the series as a whole if there were any episodes shown before or after 2006.

Honorary Mention

Before I go into the top 10, there are 2 anime which, although I really liked, did not make the cut for the top 10. The very least I could do is to mention them.

Digimon Savers

I was a fan of Digimon Adventures and Digimon 02. Tamers was nice, but it didn’t grab me as much and I stopped watching after that. Digimon Savers, however, got me hooked again although I still feel the original 2 were the best of the Digimon series.

Yakitate Japan

Yakitate Japan was one of the funniest anime I’ve ever watched. It should have been in my Top 10 Funniest Anime list but it slipped my mind while I was writing that. Otherwise, it would be sitting at either the 7th or 8th position. The reason why Yakitate Japan didn’t make the list for my top 10 anime of 2006 is because only the Yakitate 9 arc was shown in 2006. And personally, the Yakitate 9 arc wasn’t nearly as good as the Rookie Tournament arc and the Monaco Cup arc.

Honey and Clover II

There’s less humor and more serious stuff in the second season of Honey and Clover. The number of episodes in HnC2 is less than half of the first season, which is probably why it didn’t feel as fulfilling. Still, it’s a great anime and should be noted as such.

Tsubasa Chroncile

TSUBASA RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is currently my favourite manga, and because of that I love Tsubasa Chronicle (anime) as well. The artwork and OST are just awesome as well. While I love the manga and would not hesitate to put it in the top 10, the anime was not as nice (maybe because I’ve read the manga) and does not feel that it really belongs in the top 10.

Top 10 Anime of 2006

No.10 – xxxHolic


While I prefer TRC manga over xxxHolic, when it comes to the anime, xxxHolic wins. There’s something about Ichihara Yuuko that draws you in as she seems to know about anything and everything. Nothing surprises her, but it’s always the other way round with Watanuki Kimihiro. She, like Clow Reed, believes that there is no such thing as coincidence in this world, only the inevitable or hitsuzen.

Watanuki is able to see spirits and seems to have some strong power flowing in his blood. This attracts many evil spirits that chases him day and night relentlessly. Yuuko promises to grant him a wish – to stop the evil spirits from going after him. But there’s a catch. Yuuko believes in the rule of equivalent trade. In order to receive, something of equivalent value must first be given. Nothing less, nothing more. In order for Yuuko to grant his wish, he must first work out his payment at Yuuko’s shop.

You can read up more about this series in one of my earlier article, CLAMP Chronicle IV – Tsubasa Chronicle & xxxHolic.

No.9 – Utawarerumono


A H-Game turned anime, Utawarerumono has a great graphics and engaging storyline. The story started off simple enough, about a masked man who forgot who he really was and was nursed back to health by a medicine lady and her granddaughter. From protecting the village, to seeking vengance, to liberating the country and then to even play a part in a world war. It’s very rare to see such a smooth progression from one plot to another without making it looked rushed or weird. The entire transition felt so natural.

I would probably say it’s no exaggeration that Utawarerumono feels more like an epic story unfolding beautifully and gracefully in front of the viewers. The momentum and suspense builds up towards the end of the series and the climax just exploded.

No.8 – Fate/Stay Night

Fate/Stay Night

I think the biggest appeal of Fate/Stay Night other than great artwork and character designs (Saber *droolz*) would be the link between Servants and mythical heroes we all know and love. Truth be told, if I hadn’t known there was a King Arthur in the series, I might have guessed Saber was really Joan of Arc. She fitted the bill save for the invisible sword.

The fight scenes in Fate/Stay Night are among the best I’ve ever laid my eyes on. They were magnificently done. Three of my favourite fight scenes are Saber vs Assassin’s final confrontation, Archer vs Berserker and Saber vs Gilgamesh.

The storyline was very compelling as well, with each character having their own motives unseen by others, how friends turned to foe and foe turned to friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like how it ended, with Saber returning to her true place and time.

Fate/Stay Night is the highest ranking game-based anime for 2006 for me.

No.7 – Shakugan no Shana

Shakugan no Shana

I kinda hate Yuji actually, but I really liked Shana. Maybe it’s her tsundere chacteristics (here’s a definition of tsundere if you don’t know what it means). I also enjoyed how all the Flame Haze, Crimson Lords and Crimson Denizens have their own unique title that pretty much describes themselves. Although Shana’s title was inherited, it fits her perfectly once she transfroms and her hair starts to glow red as if on fire.

There were many questions left unanswered in the first season. I’m still waiting for the DVD release of the movie and the second season, Shakugan no Shana Second, will be airing soon – something I’m looking forward to very much.

No.6 – The Law of Ueki

The Law of Ueki

I’ll admit that I did not like Ueki from the very beginning. An anime about a boy who could turn trash into trees did not seem at all interesting to me at first. It was only around the time when Robert appeared himself that the series started to grab my interest.

The first few battles were interesting, but lacked the hook to keep me interested. But when Robert’s Ten appeared, things got much more interesting. Ueki found out that he’s really a heavenly being and began to awaken his Jingi (sacred treasures) one after another, taking care of his opponents within the Robert’s Ten. Unfortunately, he was still weaker than Robert himself and would have perished if Kobasen had not appeared to stop the battle.

Even though Ueki discovered his level-2 Jingi ability, which is the ability to use more than one Jingi at the same time, his true potential did not show until the battle against Barou. That was when he had finally awakened his level-2 ability; reverse, the ability to reverse another user’s power back to its original form, rendering it useless.

Mediocre character design, but great animation especially when a power is used. It’s the storyline and Ueki’s progression through the tournament that makes The Law of Ueki nice.

No. 5 – Black Cat

Black Cat

The legendary assassin, Train Heartnet aka Number 13, Black Cat. Maybe it’s my fascination with cats and assassins but I really liked Black Cat a lot. I instantly liked it after the first episode. The cool, emotionless and sometimes clueless assassin who neither seemed evil nor good.

Saya recognized the good in Train and they became close friends despite Train’s initial rejection. It was due to her influence that Train decided to leave the Chronos Numbers to live as a free, stray cat. Saya’s death was totally unexpected to me (I’ve watched the anime first before reading the manga), and so was Train’s change in attitude and behaviour after that. The once cold assassin was no more.

That is, until Creed came back into the picture. There are plenty of comedy and action after the first arc as Train leaves his past behind him, but is then forced to face them once more as he hunts down Creed and the Apostles of The Stars.

I did a review on Black Cat a few weeks ago. You can check it out if you want to find out more about the series.

No.4 – Inuyasha


While most anime goes with cats (i.e. Loveless) Rumiko Takahashi took a different route and went with dogs instead. The result – Inuyasha.

I don’t think Inuyasha needs anymore introduction. I believe it’s one of the most popular anime around for the past few years, and rightly so. From a seemingly innocent journey of searching for the sacred jewel shards, mysterious enemies and plots started to unfold, revealing an evil that had engulfed Inuyasha since even before he was sealed by Kikyo.

I like how the story always seem to be able to throw something at Inuyasha without making it feel repetitive. Rumiko managed to attack Inuyasha from different angles, both internal and external. Not only does Inuyasha has to deal with enemies, but also his past. He can never seem to decide once and for all who he rather be with; Kikyo or Kagome.

Each arc in Inuyasha usually proves to be quite lengthy, but it doesn’t feel rushed or draggy either. And after each arc we are treated with some breaks in the story by having a couple of episodes with Kagome and Inuyasha in the present time. I always enjoy these episodes the most.

No.3 – Eureka 7

Eureka 7

This is one of the few anime where I started off saying “The main character sucks! I don’t think I’ll enjoy this anime” and is the first one where I had to eat my words later on. Sure, Renton started off as an annoying country kid, but one of the main reason why I liked this anime is how each and every character develops from one stage to another. It is like watching an ugly caterpillar slowly going through the metamorphoses stages to become a beautiful butterfly in the end. That’s exactly what Eureka 7 is like.

As I’ve mentioned in my review of Eureka 7 before, the cast of characters are very varied yet at the same time lovable. They are what made Eureka 7 the great anime that it is. Not the mechas, not the soundtrack, not the design and animation and not the overall plot to save the planet from certain doom. Sure, those are important factors, but take the characters and their growth and you have a stale anime that is not unlike everything else being thrown around.

No.2 – The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi

One word – Haruhiism. This would have been number 1 if I hadn’t decided that I enjoyed the other choice more and watched it a lot more times than I did with Haruhi. The gap between Haruhi and the top spot is very marginal in my opinion.

This is also an anime that doesn’t really need any introduction. The Suzumiya Haruhi fever had never died even after the first season had ended over a year ago. Even without much promotion, any piece of Haruhi-worthy news would spread like wildfire. Take for example the Suzumiya Haruhi live action stunt video released almost quietly on Tanabata this year (07/07/07) that spread like mad throughout the online anime community. Not to mention the Hare Hare Yukai dance fever ever since the Suzumiya Haruhi no Gekiso live event.

Perhaps the reason why many are captivated by Suzumiya Haruhi is thanks to Kyon. Kyon is almost real and human just like us. We hear his thoughts, his contradictions and reaction of Suzumiya Haruhi almost like how we would have seen it if someone as absurd as Suzumiya Haruhi were to be placed right in front of us. This allows viewers to relate to Kyon directly and is probably how Haruhiism began to take over the world.

No. 1 – Ouran High School Host Club

Ouran High School Host Club

When I was first introduced to Ouran High School Host Club, I would never had imagined it to become one of my top listed anime. It was fourth in my Top 10 Funniest Anime list, but here, it is King. And I’m not talking about Tamaki.

It’s just so easy for me to watch it over and over and over without feeling bored. The Hitachiin twins started off as being the pair I hate the most in the club, but ended up as my favourite because I find them the funniest and most interesting of the bunch. They are always up to no good which makes them fun to watch.

Each character is easily classified and is done so at the very beginning when Tamaki introduced everyone in the club to Haruhi. Every character also gets their turn to shine, even the quiet Mori-senpai despite the short season of only 26 episodes.

There is no major plot involved, just the daily lives of the host club members but it’s always entertaining to watch. Perhaps another reason why this anime had left such a big impression on me is due to the ending. Most anime have poor or sub-par ending, but Ouran High School Host Club has the best ending I’ve seen in a very long time. Not only that, it also leaves room for a possible sequel. While there are no news regarding a sequel, it is definitely a possibility since there are many more materials in the manga that has yet been animated.

Unless I forgot and left out some anime that should be on this list, since I’m quite forgetful, the list will probably stay this way and not change. But just in case, do let me know if you think there are other anime that should be on the list and I’ll re-consider the list. It is, after, all my personal list for top 10 anime for 2006. :)

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